It might have happened to you, it might not have, but your holiday getting cancelled is what we fear most!
It may be that your cruise line is selling the ship you were sailing on to another brand; it may be that the airline you booked your flight with have cancelled your journey (or even gone bust).
But fear not: there is almost always a way to recover from this, and there are always a number of people desperate to find you a solution! So here is your lifesaver guide of what to do when it all goes wrong…
We’ve all heard of stormy seas (and we’ve all seen the YouTube videos), but it’s worth noting that hurricane season is typically between June 1st and November 30th.
Don’t worry, the cruise lines are the ones in the know so any affected itineraries will be altered to suit the forecast.
Keeping a positive attitude will help the situation an awful lot here! Try not to get too attached to specific ports of call just in case the Captain makes an executive last minute decision to head somewhere else (it’s all for your safety, and the Captain knows best!)
In the event of a hurricane however, your cruise may well be cancelled altogether. The cruise lines have your best interest so this will only ever happen if it really has to, and you can prepare yourself for a full refund.
Pay close attention to cruise line websites and news websites too as they’ll be updated as and when the relevant information comes in. Some cruise lines may offer you credit for future cruises instead of, or aswell as, a full refund!
For your other costs you may have already paid (travel to get to the port, or additional hotels if you live further away), it is important to have secured your own travel insurance prior to your travel date. Get reading the fine print- it might even cover cruise travel!
And in the hope of finding the good in a bad situation, when hurricanes have caused devastation in the Caribbean, it has really brought people together.
Cruise lines have even cancelled cruises to rescue stranded victims, aswell as donating thousands of pounds to the destinations affected!
Our specialist cruise consultant, Lily, commended the cruise lines for this: ‘With ongoing support like this from these major cruise lines and continued passenger support lets hope the destinations will recover so don’t stop booking your Caribbean cruise.
The people will be even more welcoming, the weather will still be amazing and the beaches will still be the best in the world!’ Read more of Lily’s say on weather woes here!
Cruise Line Politics
Now, this is a rare occasion but it has happened! The ship you have booked to cruise with may well be the very ship your cruise line has decided to sell after you’ve booked your holiday with them.
In this case, the cruise line or your travel agent will always contact you directly- you won’t be left in the dark. You’ll be offered a range of options, from compensation to a full refund, along with cruise credit and a date to make a decision by.
But, use this time to keep a beady eye out for any unexpected helping hands! Other cruise lines may see this as an opportunity for them, which means an even better opportunity for you…
When P&O decided to sell small ship Adonia to Azamara Cruises, Fred Olsen took it upon themselves to help. They offered affected passengers up to £200 off every person’s cruise fare with the reassurance that they would live up to any expectations the guests had of their original cruise with Adonia!
Our specialist cruise consultant, Ben, had his say on Fred’s saving the day: ‘This was a fantastic opportunity for those people that enjoy smaller ships to try something different.
Adonia was adults only, Fred Olsen are not but it is very rare to see a large amount or any children whatsoever on their voyages. Way to go Fred Olsen, you really do know how to look after just about everybody!’ Read more of Ben’s tips here!
This seems to be more of a regular occurrence to that of cruises getting cancelled, but still an inconvenience nonetheless. In the midst of your anger at the last minute cancellation, remember you are almost always entitled to compensation!
Speak directly to your airline to find out if there is a replacement flight for you, and if not then check the fine print of your travel insurance to see what you are entitled to.
Unfortunately, your compensation situation will depend on why you are not on your flight. Airlines state that a strike, extreme weather conditions or something similar to a volcanic eruption are all extraordinary circumstances that are out of their control, therefore compensation is not possible.
In these circumstances, you should still be offered alternative travel or a full refund but this depends on the airline. It is useful to research these specifics prior to travelling to prepare for the worst!
In the situation of your airline collapsing before, or even when, you’re on holiday there will be an immediate system put into place to offer you alternative travel. However, all of this depends on availability of other airlines so this may all come down to luck.
If your flight was part of a fly-cruise, your travel agent will always contact you directly to arrange a new flight and alternative hotels (if appropriate) at no additional cost. It will be sorted before you know it!
Our specialist cruise consultant, Layla, had her say on Monarch’s collapse: ‘As a company our staff worked tirelessly to help rebook our customers on to alternative flights which had originally been booked with Monarch. It is at times like these when it really hits home of the importance that customers should book with an ATOL protected company.
Lots of customers who booked direct with the airline have had to source alternative flights where possible at an extra cost to themselves.’ Read more of Layla’s say on cancelled flights here!
What is the first thing to do when your flight or cruise is cancelled? Do you rely on your travel insurance or luck? Have you had any cancelled flights or re-arranged itineraries before? Leave us your comments below…
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